Can somebody point me in the right direction? - Ships Nostalgia

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Can somebody point me in the right direction?

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Old 9th March 2019, 16:15
orksunderland orksunderland is offline
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 2
Can somebody point me in the right direction?

Hello everybody. I have not visited this website before and was hoping that some of your members may be able to point me in the right direction on how to trace my grandfathers merchant navy career.

His name doesn't help with research - surname Smith!! He was born in Monkwearmouth in Sunderland in 1885 and died at sea in 1931 on the SS Hetton where he was 1st Engineer. I know of various ships he worked on but don't know what he did from May 1914 when he was discharged from the SS Mary Ada Short after a voyage to the River Plate and 1919 when I know he went to India on the SS Holywell as 3rd Engineer. I was wondering if I could find the information anywhere aof what he did during the First World War. I don't have the book or log or whatever it is called of his voyages to help me. His full name was Charles Stanley Smith 1885-1931. Any suggestions please? Yours hopefully - his grandaughter. Ork
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Old 11th March 2019, 18:36
Roger Griffiths's Avatar
Roger Griffiths Roger Griffiths is offline  
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,089
Hello and welcome,
Central personal records of merchant seamen for the period 1914-1918 have by and large been destroyed.
So the way forward is to backtrack his ships via Crew Agreements.
The one positive you have is that you have proof he was on board HOLYWELL, official number 123951, in 1919.
The 1919 Crew Agreements and logbooks of the Sunderland registered ship HOLYWELL are available from here
Her Crew Agreement should tell you the name of his previous vessel.
Given a bit of luck you should be able backtrack all of his vessels to 1914.
The 1914-1918, with the exception of 1915, Crew Agreements should be in the British National Archive. Idealy the best way is to view yourself via a personal visit. You should be able to view the lot in a day.
1915 crew agreements can be viewed online. Just type 1915 Crew Lists in to Google.
All Logbooks and Crew Agreements are catalogued by ships official number.
To find a ships official number go to the CLIP crew lists website. I am away from home at the minute using a strange PC so cannot give you all the links directly.

Dim ateb yn well nag ateb anghywir. Nid oes dim yn ddall fel rhai nad ydynt yn dymuno gweld
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Old 11th March 2019, 19:36
orksunderland orksunderland is offline
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 2
Thank you so much for your help. I shall try your suggestions and hopefully I'll find out where he was and what he did.

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